Posts Tagged ‘John Paul Wootton’
Sunday, May 31st, 2020
Everyone, everywhere, will be feeling the pinch of lockdown. Nobody has been left untouched and it’s not just the direct effects making their mark.
We are seeing the indirect result too.
You will have noticed that many of the already existing problems in our society are being exacerbated. There have been plenty of reports of increased domestic abuse, mental health crises and financial instability to cite but a few examples.
But what has it all meant for the prisoners?
Well, in some senses it’s business as usual. Much of the freedom you have temporarily lost, never exists here in the first palace. And many of the freedoms you are relying on to cope, are completely beyond our reach. There are no Zoom parties, Netflix binges or streamed concerts here.
There has been an impact though.
All temporary release has stopped. This is generally used to help re-integrate people back to normal life prior to their full release. This is particularly important for those who have spent a long time in prison.
They now face being dumped at the front gate with no time to adjust and no real support.
All education and other activities have stopped. Some have been working towards qualifications (for many for the first time in their life) and are left wondering was it all for nothing. Potentially, people will be put off further self-development as a result.
All in all, probably the best way to describe prison during Covid in mindless agony made more mindless and agonizing. These days, often monotonous and lacking in purpose, are now intolerably so. As a result, there is a real danger of a spike in terms of mental illness and drug addiction. And the situation was already far from okay.
Unless, or until, we can access reliable data on things like suicide and self-harm, we won’t be able to assess the damage. But be under no illusion, there will be damage. Unfortunately, by the time the information becomes available, it may be too late.
Although you still have your modern luxuries to help you cope, some insight into our experiences is possible. Next time you use the internet, your smart phone or relax in your garden with your family, reflect that we don’t have that privilege. For just a second, put yourselves in our shoes.
John Paul Wootton
To write to the comrade:
John Paul Wootton
HM Prison Maghaberry
17 Old Road,
Lisburn BT28 2PT, UK
For more information on John Paul Wootton see
Thursday, August 29th, 2019
Two writings by anarchist prisoner John Paul Wootton. The first writing is his thoughts on the injustice system and the use of prisons by the state which realistically culminates in a complete waste of time to what the claim of why prisons are used, i.e. to “rehabilitate” people that commit “crimes” to make them “better and functional members of society”.
John Paul’s second writing is a reflection on why he became vegan and why he will remain vegan. John Paul is still struggling in the prison system to gain full rights to living a more vegan life in prison.
John Paul has been imprisoned with his co-accused Brendan McConville for the last 10 years. Both men have been falsely convicted of the shooting dead of a cop in Craigavon, Ireland in 2009. Ever since the two have been fighting the injustice imposed on them by the British colonial system. (more…)
Monday, August 27th, 2018
From Sacco and Vanzetti to the Craigavon 2
A Call Out for Support and Solidarity
The 23rd of August marks the 91st anniversary of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. They were both executed in the US in 1927 for the robbery of a shoe factory and the killing of a guard and paymaster. During their trial the prosecution produced conflicting ballistic evidence and witness testimony. The defence had several witnesses testifying where the accused men were on the day of the robbery and killings. This should have proven Sacco and Vanzetti innocence but instead both were convicted and sentenced to death. They were killed for their beliefs, they were insurrectionary anarchists “that advocated relentless warfare against a violent and oppressive government.”
Like Sacco and Vanzetti, the state scapegoated Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton (their case is known as the Craigavon 2) , for revenge over killing of a cop and two British soldiers in 2009. The cops arrested and charged several republicans in connection with the killings. In all cases the only real evidence the state had was that all the accused were republicans. Two people, John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville were charged and convicted of the killing of the cop. Two others, Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers, were charged with the killing of the soldiers. The latter were subsequently found not guilty of the killings of the soldiers, the state had no evidence on them. (more…)